The Q&A Archives: Can I eradicate Oleander without digging up the roots?

Question: I live in zone 18 and need heat tolerant shrubs but do not like the poisonous oleanders currently in my yard. I would like to replace some with crape myrtles and put a vegetable garden in place of others. If I cut them down to the ground, will that be enough to kill them or do I need to dig up the roots? Is there any hazard to putting in a vegetable garden where they used to be?


Answer: Oleanders have toxins in their leaves, stems, wood and roots. I'd dig them up, roots and all to remove the toxins from the area. Failing that you'll be forever dealing with suckering growth from the roots when you replant in the area and the roots receive moisture. I know it will be a huge labor intensive process, but total eradication is your best course of action. After you've removed them from the landscape you can safely plant veggies and other plants in the area. Good luck with your project.

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